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#2227636 - 02/07/14 08:57 PM MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508  
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I notice that the new Rolands no longer have MIDI ports. shocked Only a "USB COMPUTER port (USB type B)" (which the 505 etc had also).

So how would you connect this to an external sound module like the Integra-7, or a backing module like the BK-7m? Did Roland think this through?


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#2227644 - 02/07/14 09:07 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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yes - that's not a good idea from Roland. Standard MIDI is very useful still - and in the case of connecting other midi stuff such as modules, essential.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2227781 - 02/08/14 04:54 AM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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I suppose they reason that your are not going to need MIDI at home just like Yamaha think that you are not going to need string resonance on stage.

#2227798 - 02/08/14 07:43 AM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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I assume the USB port "speaks MIDI" ?
and that a simple MIDI/USB adapter works.
This is what I and many others use to connect laptops to MIDI Keyboards.

IS THERE a problem ?

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#2227810 - 02/08/14 08:40 AM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Check this Roland link, there is a midi implementation document to download..... all 45 pages of it!

http://www.roland.com/support/article/?q=manuals&p=HP506

Last edited by slipperykeys; 02/08/14 09:46 AM.
#2227864 - 02/08/14 12:18 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: slipperykeys]  
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Originally Posted by Hookxs
I suppose they reason that your are not going to need MIDI at home just like Yamaha think that you are not going to need string resonance on stage.

Hmm, so every home DP maker (except the really cheap ones) for the last 20 years has thought that we need them, and now suddenly we don't? Arranger pianos have been popular since their inception, and I thought the reason Roland doesn't do them any more is because you can plug in a backing module... but now it seems, you can't.

Originally Posted by R_B
I assume the USB port "speaks MIDI" ?
and that a simple MIDI/USB adapter works... IS THERE a problem ?

USB devices are asymmetric - one is the host, uses an A-type connector, and provides power. The other is a peripheral and uses a B-type connector. The HPs actually have both, but the A-type is marked in the manual purely as a "USB MEMORY port", with no mention of MIDI. Therefore I would be very surprised if it does work with a MIDI/USB adaptor (which all are A-type).

I think the asymmetry of USB makes it fundamentally unsuitable for MIDI connections, which require a peer-to-peer relationship.

Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Check this Roland link, there is a midi implementation document to download..... all 45 pages of it!

This probably refers to the MIDI over USB when attached to a computer. It doesn't help with connecting to any other MIDI device which does not act as a USB host.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
#2227865 - 02/08/14 12:30 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Originally Posted by lolatu

This probably refers to the MIDI over USB when attached to a computer. It doesn't help with connecting to any other MIDI device which does not act as a USB host.



This link probably refers to USB to midi adaptors.

https://www.google.co.uk/#q=usb+to+midi+adaptors

#2227874 - 02/08/14 01:01 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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slipperykeys - did you read my post above? These adaptors are for USB A-type. Are you saying you can do MIDI through the piano's memory stick connection?


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
#2227902 - 02/08/14 02:28 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Here is a list of the connections available.

DC In jack
Input jack: Stereo miniature phone type
Output (L/Mono, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
USB COMPUTER port: USB Type B
USB MEMORY port: USB Type A
Phones jacks (Stereo, with Twin Piano Individual Mode) x 2:
Stereo miniature phone type, Stereo 1/4-inch phone type

I have no idea what the USB sockets can be used for. I imagine that USB A is an input and USB B is an output but you would need to check. I have no idea what the 45 page midi implementation manual says as I never use midi.

If you have technical questions you wish to have answered this should help.

http://www.rolandforums.co.uk/

#2227904 - 02/08/14 02:45 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: slipperykeys]  
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I suspect that much becomes clear if the manual is read.
(Read for understanding)

My GUESS is that USB A and USB B can correspond to MIDI IN and MIDI OUT (or the other way around) when configured appropriately.
There may be a MIDI THRU function, the manual would probably provide info on this.

Fortunately I am without such an instrument - WAYyyy out of date keyboard controller and mostly rack gear here, though I hook up to the laptop for software virtual instruments via an EMU MIDI/USB adapter from time to time, THAT appears to be bi-directional.

Did I suggest using the manual ?
No ?
Sorry about that, I had meant to.

Please read the manual.

#2227906 - 02/08/14 02:51 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: slipperykeys]  
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But USB A and USB B are not AT ALL equivalent to MIDI IN and MIDI OUT. USB is assymentric as lolatu already said.

Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Here is a list of the connections available.

DC In jack
Input jack: Stereo miniature phone type
Output (L/Mono, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
USB COMPUTER port: USB Type B
USB MEMORY port: USB Type A
Phones jacks (Stereo, with Twin Piano Individual Mode) x 2:
Stereo miniature phone type, Stereo 1/4-inch phone type

I have no idea what the USB sockets can be used for. I imagine that USB A is an input and USB B is an output but you would need to check. I have no idea what the 45 page midi implementation manual says as I never use midi.

If you have technical questions you wish to have answered this should help.

http://www.rolandforums.co.uk/


The point was not about 'technical questions'. The point was in answer to R B who asked:

IS THERE a problem?

.....to which lolatu answered:

I think the asymmetry of USB makes it fundamentally unsuitable for MIDI connections, which require a peer-to-peer relationship.

That's the point. Not having MIDI makes it impossible (or very complicated and expensive with USB to MIDI converters) to link instruments together in the way you can easily do with the old MIDI sockets.

Most people will simply be linking straight to a computer with their DP, and Roland, Casio etc, know this. But MIDI-less DPs are not a welcome development, in my view.

Question: could you link up a [Roland HP] DP direct to a Roland Integra-7 (or similar) using only MIDI over USB?

Last edited by toddy; 02/08/14 02:55 PM.

Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2227908 - 02/08/14 02:59 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: toddy]  
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Originally Posted by toddy

Question: could you link up a [Roland HP] DP direct to a Roland Integra-7 (or similar) using only MIDI over USB?


You would expect so, otherwise they have cutoff the possibility of buying one of their most expensive and best products - one that a DP buyer would very possibly want. But come on Roland - just put some damn MIDI ports in! It really is worth the extra $10 it would cost to put them in. Roland wrote the book on MIDI, implementation into any of their products is a breeze. Crazy that they left it out. They will lose sales over this - more than they save by not having it.

#2227935 - 02/08/14 04:42 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: ando]  
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Originally Posted by ando
They will lose sales over this - more than they save by not having it.


Totally agree (even that I don't need them)

Last edited by Hanseat; 02/08/14 04:43 PM.

Roland HP504
#2227946 - 02/08/14 05:00 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Just looking at this;
http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/1301/specs/
I found two or three reference to Standard MIDI files Format 0,1
At least the spec column infers that it understands MIDI internally.
Of course, it could just mean that it can merely PLAY them from a thumb drive.
I guess that would be the MIDI IN USB port ?
I'm shooting in the dark here, surely it can WRITE MIDI files of what you play out TO a thumb drive ?
As you play it ?, or only as a dump of a file that it creates ?
I just went down the "Features" column on that web page, it IMPLIES only as a file dump.
If that is true - maybe they want you to NOT use superior tones from computers or whatever other external sound generators you like, perhaps understandable for a "Home" piano.

In which case ...BUMMERrrrrrrr


Unfortunately there is NOT a link to an owners manual on their web site, or I would have looked for something like "How to load & play MIDI a file".


#2227964 - 02/08/14 05:33 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: R_B]  
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The USB type B connector is usually both MIDI in and out. The type A connector is usually only for connecting a memory stick.

The difference between A and B (and the reason there are two types) is that type A is usually powered, while type B never is. I think that's why there has to be two different connectors.


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#2227968 - 02/08/14 05:45 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: slipperykeys]  
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Thanks for posting that link slipperykeys, for some odd reason I couldn't get to a manual for 504, 506, 508 from where I was on Roland support, just brochures.

Others folk;
See Various Settings (Function mode) beginning on page 52.

Yes, they DO show a loop with labels on "USB MIDI Out" going to a sequencer and from there back in via "USB MIDI In" to the sound generator.

They also address; SURPRISE...
copy/paste
MIDI Transmit Channel Settings (MIDI Transmit Channel)

I think this answers MOST of the concern ?

Last edited by R_B; 02/08/14 05:46 PM.
#2227975 - 02/08/14 06:11 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: torhu]  
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Originally Posted by torhu
The USB type B connector is usually both MIDI in and out. The type A connector is usually only for connecting a memory stick.

The difference between A and B (and the reason there are two types) is that type A is usually powered, while type B never is. I think that's why there has to be two different connectors.

Type A is master, type B is slave.

To connect a MIDI device directly to another MIDI device (not computer), you need real MIDI jacks, not USB.

There are a few exceptions. This device can allow you to connect a USB device directly to a MIDI device:
http://www.kentonuk.com/products/items/utilities/usb-host.shtml
and also one or more of the iConnectMIDI interfaces.

The Kronos is the only keyboard I'm aware of that allows you to directly connect another device over USB (i.e. a control surface or another keyboard to control/trigger the Korg's sounds).

#2227980 - 02/08/14 06:19 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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I think this answers MOST of the concern ?

Well, I may have missed something, but it's not clear at all to me whether you can connect these new HP DPs to other midi equipment. For example: can you connect it directly to a Roland Integra-7. (I can't see how unless the Integra-7 can be configured as a HOST)

Can it be connected to a midi sound module such as an EMU Proteus or a Roland U110, Roland D110, etc etc?

Can you connect to a midi sequencer using MIDI IN/OUT/THROUGH?

Of course you can transmit and receive to & from a computer in the middle of the setup. That's not in question. But my guess is that you have to have a computer to connect these new DPs to the outside world via midi.....which is kind of concerning somehow.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2227985 - 02/08/14 06:25 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: toddy]  
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Originally Posted by toddy
it's not clear at all to me whether you can connect these new HP DPs to other midi equipment. For example: can you connect it directly to a Roland Integra-7. (I can't see how unless the Integra-7 can be configured as a HOST)

Can it be connected to a midi sound module such as an EMU Proteus or a Roland U110, Roland D110, etc etc?

Can you connect to a midi sequencer using MIDI IN/OUT/THROUGH?

The answer to all of these question is no, unless maybe you buy one of the devices I mentioned in my previous post.

#2227990 - 02/08/14 06:33 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: anotherscott]  
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by toddy
it's not clear at all to me whether you can connect these new HP DPs to other midi equipment. For example: can you connect it directly to a Roland Integra-7. (I can't see how unless the Integra-7 can be configured as a HOST)

Can it be connected to a midi sound module such as an EMU Proteus or a Roland U110, Roland D110, etc etc?

Can you connect to a midi sequencer using MIDI IN/OUT/THROUGH?

The answer to all of these question is no, unless maybe you buy one of the devices I mentioned in my previous post.


.....at a cost of over 145. Well done Roland! Though I can't see why you'd really have the need to do this - after all these are not gigging instruments. But you will need the palaver of a computer to connect the things up at all.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2227991 - 02/08/14 06:34 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: R_B]  
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Originally Posted by R_B
Thanks for posting that link slipperykeys, ...



My pleasure, glad you found use for it.

#2228017 - 02/08/14 07:10 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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I think they left off the MIDI ports because they've assessed the market and people mostly don't use them or need them. If you do need them, just buy a piano that has them. Simple.

#2228026 - 02/08/14 07:27 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Yeah, what MacMacMac said.
These are Home Pianos, not for gigging out or driving rack gear.
If you need hydrostatic drive just buy a tractor that HAS hydrostatic drive, this one doesn't laugh
(deliberate mixed metaphor)

Just reading through the manual and brochures it seems they are retreating from MIDI(obviously) for Home Pianos and trying to move TOWARDS Wan connectivity and i-phone/pad apps.
The WNA1100-RL thing is about $60 on Amazon.

Arguably a trend to welcome ? Depends if you are a rack rat from way back I guess.
Nonetheless, see page 52 of the manual.


Last edited by R_B; 02/08/14 07:30 PM.
#2228049 - 02/08/14 08:25 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: MacMacMac]  
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I think they left off the MIDI ports because they've assessed the market and people mostly don't use them or need them. If you do need them, just buy a piano that has them. Simple.


Whilst this is of course true - and I did buy a DP with MIDI IN, MIDI OUT and two USB connections and I use all these connections - the point is that, the way things seem to be going, this will not be an option soon. There won't be a choice.

So everything will have to be routed through a computer: modules, keyboards, other sequencers. It does enforce a considerably higher level of complexity and potential for breakdowns and crashes.....this is true of most tech stuff these days.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2228051 - 02/08/14 08:26 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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I agree, lack of MIDI ports is less of an issue for a non-portable and/or non-professional device because there will be less need to connect it to other MIDI devices. That said, what bothers me about relying on USB ports alone is that, 5 or 10 years from now, they may be obsolete, and people won't have computers that are compatible with these systems, whereas standard 5-pin MIDI compatibility will probably out live all of us.

#2228063 - 02/08/14 08:44 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: R_B]  
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Originally Posted by R_B
Yeah, what MacMacMac said.
Just reading through the manual and brochures it seems they are retreating from MIDI(obviously) for Home Pianos and trying to move TOWARDS Wan connectivity and i-phone/pad apps.
Arguably a trend to welcome ?

Yes, if you have an iphone.
Originally Posted by R_B

Depends if you are a rack rat from way back I guess.

Yes, I'm a rack rat from way back. It's a nice description.
Originally Posted by R_B

Nonetheless, see page 52 of the manual.

I looked at the link but couldn't find page 52. The MIDI implementation stuff only went up to 40 something....and anyway was not really relevant to this......am I looking at the wrong document?


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck
#2228071 - 02/08/14 08:58 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: toddy]  
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Or a computer with a USB port.
Pretty common these days, methinks.
Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by R_B
Yeah, what MacMacMac said.
Just reading through the manual and brochures it seems they are retreating from MIDI(obviously) for Home Pianos and trying to move TOWARDS Wan connectivity and i-phone/pad apps.
Arguably a trend to welcome?
Yes, if you have an iphone.

#2228078 - 02/08/14 09:19 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
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Hey R_B, thanks for looking into this. I have already checked the manual. This is the diagram (page 52 of the HP506 manual) I think you're referring to:

[Linked Image]

It seems they copied this from the HP505 manual, just inserting "USB" before the word "MIDI". But it doesn't tell you how to connect to a hardware sequencer (you would normally do it with MIDI cables). In fact, it seems from the discussion above, there is no way. That is the whole point of this thread.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
#2228081 - 02/08/14 09:24 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: MacMacMac]  
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,013
lolatu Offline
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lolatu  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,013
UK
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I think they left off the MIDI ports because they've assessed the market and people mostly don't use them or need them. If you do need them, just buy a piano that has them. Simple.

Unfortunately for Roland, that will have to be a Kawai. I checked, and the latest LX15 and DP90 no longer have MIDI ports either. Roland have lost the plot.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
#2228085 - 02/08/14 09:30 PM Re: MIDI ports (or lack of) on new Roland HP504, HP506 and HP508 [Re: lolatu]  
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,013
lolatu Offline
1000 Post Club Member
lolatu  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,013
UK
anotherscott and toddy - thanks for you input.

Having to do everything MIDI via a computer is madness. I was quite keen on the new Rolands before I discovered this omission. They may have saved $2 by removing the MIDI ports, but they'll have to sell a lot of these to make it worthwhile, because they've also lost several hundred $ from the purchase I will now not make. frown


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
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